Rockliffe Hall mixologist mingles with the best

Rachel Charnock - Cocktail Winner

Rachel Charnock - Cocktail Winner

A Teesside mixologist has been singled out as one of the best in the UK in a national competition.

Rachel Charnock, who works at Rockliffe Hall in Hurworth near Darlington, has been named in the top ten best bartenders in the Edgerton Pink Gin Masters 2015, run in association with The Spirit’s Business magazine.

Rachel made it into the top ten having been shortlisted from over 50 entries from across the UK for her cocktail ‘Spice up Your Life’. The gin-based cocktail infuses vanilla sugar, orange, pink gin, Campari, and Naga chilli bitters. Rachel was inspired following a visit to Lisbon but wanted to incorporate traditional English mixing methods as well.

The competition recognises the top mixologists from bars, hotels and restaurants around the country and all of those shortlisted were invited to the prestigious Ivy Club in West London to share their skills and meet key industry experts.

Rachel, from Middlesbrough, has worked at Rockliffe Hall for almost a year having returned to the region after studying for her degree in fashion atelier at London’s University of Creative Arts.

Rachel said: “It was an incredible experience to meet so many VIPs from the hotel and bar sector- and I picked up a few more tricks of the trade. I was thrilled to make the top ten with my cocktail and I’m looking forward to being able to share it with diners and guests at Rockliffe Hall.

“I came up with the idea after visiting Lisbon's Barrio Alto and seeing the buzzing nightlife where colourful gins are so popular. I wanted to bring this energy back to England, so I used the old fashioned English mixing technique to create this flavoursome Portuguese inspired spiced cocktail.”

Grace Matterson, head sommelier at Rockliffe Hall, added: “We offer an extensive cocktail list at Rockliffe Hall- all individually created by our expert mixologists. Rachel has shown a real talent and her cocktails are always really popular. We’re very proud to have such a highly-regarded mixologist on the team.”

Rockliffe Hall’s cocktail bar in the Old Hall is open to residents and non-residents from 11am with light bites served until 5pm. Drinks are served throughout the day.

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